2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers look to stop Seahawks' running game

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-06 13:14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers say their first order of business Sunday is slowing down Seattle's running game, which is triggered by quarterback Russell Wilson and spearheaded by running back Marshawn Lynch.

And they feel they have the pieces in place to do just that.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says his team is better equipped to stuff the run this season after drafting 300-pound defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with their first two picks and signing another giant space eater in Colin Cole to go along with veteran Dwan Edwards.

The Panthers also have Jon Beason back from an injury, helping solidify a solid linebacker corps that includes Luke Kuechly, the NFL's leading tackler last season, and Thomas Davis.

``We have four big stout physical football players up front that can help our guys and allow our linebackers to run,'' Rivera said.

The guy they'll be chasing primarily is Lynch.

And he's tough to stop.

Lynch has run for more yards than any running back in the league since November of 2011. He had 85 yards rushing on 21 carries in Seattle's 16-12 win over Carolina last October.

The Seahawks last year went to the en vogue zone read offense - a system where a mobile quarterback has the option to handoff or keep the ball as the play develops - something the Panthers used extensively the last two seasons with Cam Newton.

Lynch has been the beneficiary of that scheme.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Lynch reported to training camp this summer in great shape and eager to pick up where he left off last season, rushing for more than 100 yards in eight of Seattle's final 10 games.

``He's looked fast, and agile, and strong and has prepared every single day full on,'' Carroll said. ``... I haven't seen him like this. I haven't seen him this sharp going in to a season. He's really taking this seriously. That's not just like the last month or so, that's six months of preparation. He's really poured himself into to prepare for a great year.''

Carolina's defense has experience defending the zone read in practice over the past two seasons facing Newton, but they haven't seen it much in games.

With more and more teams installing the zone read, Rivera said he and his staff spent a portion of the offseason meeting with college coaches - though he wouldn't say which ones - to get their thoughts on how to best defend it.

Still, Carolina struggled to defend it in their lone preseason loss at Philadelphia.

That's something Rivera attributed to ``being stagnant'' at the line of scrimmage and reacting instead of attacking.

``When the ball was snapped everybody was trying to see where the quarterback was going,'' Rivera said. ``It was our first real shot against the zone read. But once we settled in and started to attack and do the things we are capable of, we were able to handle it a lot better. It was a good lesson for us to learn.''

The key, Rivera said, might be the play of Lotulelei, their first-round draft pick from Utah.

Lotulelei struggled against the Eagles, but Rivera said he was outstanding the following week against Baltimore.

``I think that was kind of one of those things that was an awakening for him,'' Rivera said. ``You'd like to see him continue to be effective inside, continue to push the pocket, hold the point of attack, hold the double team and let the linebackers run.''

On Sunday, the Panthers will find out if they're good enough to stop Seattle's offense - and compete with one of the best teams in the NFC.

``There's excitement about the unknown,'' Rivera said. ``There's excitement about what the potential is and what you hope to become.''

NOTES: Panthers SS Mike Mitchell (calf) is doubtful for Sunday. Rivera said Friday if Mitchell can't play recently signed Quintin Mikell will get the start. ... WR Domenik Hixon (hamstring), defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (thigh) and guard Amini Silatolu (hamstring) are questionable, while LB Jon Beason (knee) and FB Mike Tolbert (hamstring) are probable for Sunday.

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tharold SimonOct 20 11:04p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) may be able to play in Week 7, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Marcus GilbertOct 20 10:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion) is out for the remainder of the team's Week 7 game after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Ahmad BradshawOct 20 08:43p

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace for a combined 215 rushes and receptions and 1,753 total yards this season.

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 07:13p

Denver Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs was attracting interest from other teams on the practice squad, and the Broncos elevated him to their active roster because they didn't want to [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 06:53p

The Denver Broncos signed practice squad RB Kapri Bibbs to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 20 06:43p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) will not be able to play in Week 8.

Derrick ColemanOct 20 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) will miss at least six weeks because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7.

Usama YoungOct 20 06:23p

Oakland Raiders FS Usama Young (knee) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in Week 7, according to a source.

S. RichardsonOct 20 06:13p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released from the practice squad injured list with an injury settlement Monday, Oct. 20.

Rey MaualugaOct 20 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.

Chris SmithOct 20 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Chris Smith was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Tom CrabtreeOct 20 06:03p

The New Orleans Saints re-signed TE Tom Crabtree to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Vontaze BurfictOct 20 05:53p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) did not suffer a concussion in the team's Week 7 game but did suffer a neck injury, according to a team official. Burfict [ More ]

Gerell RobinsonOct 20 05:53p

Carolina Panthers DB Robert Lester, Cleveland Browns TE Gerell Robinson, Dallas Cowboys DT Ken Bishop and LB Korey Toomer and Miami Dolphins DT Deandre Coleman cleared waivers and became [ More ]

Brandon CarrOct 20 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr (hamstring) strained his hamstring in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Carr still played every defensive snap and should be able to play [ More ]

Austin PettisOct 20 05:43p

The St. Louis Rams waived WR Austin Pettis Monday, Oct. 20.

Vincent JacksonOct 20 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson's name came up over the weekend in reports that the team was fielding phone calls from interested teams, but head coach Lovie Smith [ More ]

Manti Te'oOct 20 05:23p

San Diego Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and LB Manti Te'o (foot) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 20. CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and [ More ]

Matt RyanOct 20 05:23p

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head [ More ]

T.J. WardOct 20 05:03p

Denver Broncos CB Omar Bolden (concussion), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) didn't practice Monday, Oct. 20. S Quinton Carter (hamstring), CB Chris Harris Jr. (knee), RB Juwan Thompson (knee) and [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 20 05:03p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) has a strained calf and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Jake LockerOct 20 05:03p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is scheduled to throw Tuesday, Oct. 21, and the team will see how he responds Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Brian HoyerOct 20 04:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer is still the team's starting quarterback even though he struggled in Week 7, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Ahtyba RubinOct 20 04:43p

Cleveland Browns DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) received a second option on his injured ankle. Head coach Mike Pettine said surgery for Rubin has not been ruled out.

Jason VerrettOct 20 04:43p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) missed his second game of the year in Week 7 with a shoulder injury, and his absence hurt the team in space against the Kansas City Chiefs.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group